How to Apply

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The deadline for the 2015 grant cycle has passed.

Please note: Failure to follow all instructions could result in your application not being considered.

Grant requests must target one or more concrete elements within the festival. Proposals should be specific and thorough in their description of the element(s). No grants will be awarded for “general support.”

While the festival element(s) described in the proposal carry the most weight, factors such as the festival’s focus and its geographical location may also be considered in making the final determinations. The manner in which the Academy will be acknowledged during the festival also is of some importance.

Application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm (pst) on June 30, 2014. Under no circumstances will late applications be accepted. Festivals will receive notification of their status by November 2014.

Application Requirements

In addition to the on-line application form, the following documents must be uploaded to make an application complete. All documents should be submitted as PDFs if at all possible.

  1. Proposal – two pages

    Request statement – one sentence describing the proposed project and the grant amount requested. (This statement should also appear on the application form.)

    Proposal paragraphs – several paragraphs outlining the element(s) for which support is requested. Provide as much detail as possible, including information on how the element(s) will affect the festival’s current and projected audience. . Also, at least one paragraph should be dedicated to describing the festival and to setting up how the proposed program fits into the broader festival vision. Offering alternatives that will give the committee the opportunity to select a preferred scenario is allowed but is not required. 

  2. Organizational information – no more than two pages

    Mission statement – one or more paragraphs broadly describing the goals of the festival as well as delineating how each proposed element supports those goals.

    History of the festival – a brief description of the festival, including some past highlights (events, tributes, films, honored guests, etc.).

    Description of the parent organization – a brief outline of the yearly activities of the festival’s parent organization, if it is film-related.

    Executive profiles – Brief profiles of all the primary executives of the organization as well as any staff who will have a direct impact on the program being proposed for funding.

  3. Acknowledgments – one page

    A list of the ways in which the festival will acknowledge the Academy’s grant.  Please see the Sponsorship Credit Requirements under the "Guidelines" tab above."

  4. Income/expense statement – no longer than three pages

    This should include a financial overview of the most recent festival.

  5. Budget

    This should include a budget for the proposed element(s), a simple breakdown of anticipated costs and an overview of the projected budget for the entire festival.

  6. Proof of festival’s nonprofit status

  1. Grants are available only to United States-based film festivals that have completed at least five festivals by the end of the year preceding the application year.
  2. Festivals may not receive grants in consecutive years unless they are a recipient of a multi-year grant.  Applications for multi-year grants are by-invitation-only.
  3. Grants must be used for the support of a particular event or element within a festival, excluding those listed in guideline #4.
  4. Grants are not awarded to proposals that seek support for:

    • programming centered on the screening of an individual new film.
    • competitions or awards programs.
    • the screening of works produced specifically for television or any other event or program that primarily involves work produced for television.
    • parties, hospitality suites, luncheons, tribute dinners or any other similar events within a festival.
    • the development, production or completion of motion pictures.
    • programs that take place outside the film festival.
    • capital expenses.
    • general festival overhead.
  5. All grants are awarded with the understanding that the Academy has discretion over the type and degree of recognition it receives from the grant recipient or others.
  6. The Academy reserves the right to amend the above guidelines if extenuating circumstances or other unusual situations warrant such action.

Sponsorship Credit Requirements

The Academy requires grant recipients to acknowledge the Academy’s sponsorship in appropriate and reasonable ways. As each festival is unique, the Academy will assess sponsorship credit requirements on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, the Academy has very specific views about the representation of its name and marks. Festivals must obtain prior approval of any mention or representation of the Academy Foundation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or the Academy’s sponsorship.

For any grant, the following must be provided:

  • a press release announcing the grant, plus recognition in any press releases related to the programs funded;
  • prominent recognition on all printed material;
  • prominent recognition on the festival Web site with hyperlinks to the Academy’s Web site;

When available, the following should also be provided:

  • full-page ad in the festival program, brochure or magazine;
  • prominent recognition on any trailer or on-screen slide produced specifically for the festival;
  • recognition on banners and signage at the festival;
  • ability to display an Academy banner or similar signage at the festival;
  • a certain number of festival guest passes and reception invitations; and
  • all other benefits offered to other sponsors at the equivalent level.

In lieu of or in addition to the placement of an Academy logo, the following acknowledgment line may be used:

Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The 2014 Academy Film Festival Grants are for festivals occurring during the 2015 calendar year.

Individual festivals are not allowed to receive grants in successive years.

Only festivals based in the United States that have held at least five festivals as of December 31, 2013 are eligible to apply this year. 

Screening programs, be they periodic screening series or end-of-term student screening programs, are not eligible to apply. 

Festivals that do not screen films in a theatrical setting are not eligible to apply.

Eligible film festivals may apply for grants at four funding levels, depending on the cash budget of the most recently completed festival.

  • Festivals with a cash budget of less than $100,000 can apply for a grant of up to 10% of their cash budget or $2500, whichever is higher.
  • Festivals with cash budgets from $100,000 to less than $200,000 can apply for a grant of up to $10,000. 
  • Festivals with cash budgets from $200,000 to $600,000 can apply for a grant of up to $20,000.
  • Festivals with cash budgets greater than $600,000 can apply for a grant of up to $30,000.

To maximize the distribution of funding to festivals, the Academy’s Festival Grants Committee may approve grants for less than the amount requested.  In recent years, this has been the case more often than not.

A final report is required for all organizations that receive an Academy grant. For festivals that receive a grant, final reports are due by February 15th of the year after the grant was used. The report should be submitted online via the Final Report link on the Academy's website. Failure to submit a complete report will render the festival ineligible for future grants until the committee deems otherwise. This applies to multi-year grant recipients as well. Reports will ask for the following information:

  • What was the grant amount and for what program(s) was it received?
  • Give a basic recap of the festival as a whole, followed by a recap of the specific program(s) that the Academy funded. Please mention any deviations from the original proposal and give an explanation for why those deviations occurred. (Note: The Academy should always be notified of any deviations from the original proposal in advance of the festival opening.)
  • What were your goals for the program(s)? Were these goals achieved? Please provide details.
  • What were the attendance figures for the festival? What were the attendance figures for each program funded? How did you determine these attendance figures? If applicable, how do these figures compare with previous years?
  • How did the grant impact the funded program(s)? How did the grant impact the overall festival?
  • What changes might the festival make to improve the funded program(s)?
  • What changes might the festival make to improve the impact of the Academy's grant?
  • Multi-year grant recipients: Are there any significant staffing, programming, format or other changes anticipated for the festival in the coming year?
  • Include a detailed recap of how the Academy was acknowledged both prior to and during the festival.

To be submitted as attachments or via mail.

  • Include a detailed final budget for the film festival as well as a separate detailed final budget for the funded program, including a breakdown of how the grant was spent. Please be as specific as possible. For example, if money was dedicated to filmmaker travel, tell us which filmmakers benefited and how much was spent on each.
  • Include copies of the festival program as well as any material in which the Academy's logo or "special support" statement appear. Also, please provide a list of all marketing and publicity done by the festival.
  • Include a copy of any press releases (and corresponding media lists), press reports, photographs, press broadcast footage and/or festival video footage related to the program(s) funded by the grant. At a minimum, photos of any banners, signs or displays bearing the Academy logo that were displayed at the festival should be included. If any of the above is not available, please explain why.
  • When available, please send a copy of the festival's federal tax return for the year in which the grant was used. If this will be a problem, please explain why.
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